Quilts! Sewing & Crafts Feed

Jonathan's Quilt

      There once was a time I just knew I could not survive the loss of my child. Then, I lost my child. My heart kept beating, my lungs kept breathing, the sun rose and set. My other daughters still needed me; grandchildren arrived and let me know that the child I lost is born again and again and again. 
      In addition to my family, making quilts has become my life raft. I'm learning a whole new world. Fabrics and designers and patterns; sewing machines, quilting machines, notions, and techniques abound. New individuals have come into my life sharing their knowledge and love of the quilting process.  I've made 35 quilts in the past year!

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The quilt with the brown and red sashing is a t-shirt quilt I made for my grandson, Holden. It has t-shirts from his aunties, gran and grandad, and his mom and dad. 
        One of the blessings that came from the most horrible loss was meeting Donna. She lost her son, Jonathan, only months after I lost Annie. Both of our children committed suicide. For the past three years we've shared tears and books and hopes and prayers. Each year when Donna visits her sister in Texas, she goes out of her way to visit me, too. On our first visit, we stayed up all night and ate ice cream sundaes and looked at pictures of our kids. On her last visit, she surprised me with my biggest quilting challenge, and honor, to date. She brought all of Jonathan's t-shirts and work shirts to see if I would make a quilt out of them for her. I was surprised, sad, and excited. Touching each of them made me feel as if I was touching Jonathan. Donna and I often say that Jonathan and Annie are together, getting us together down here to find the joy they now have. 
          It's amazing how each shirt is a story. I'm going slowly on this project; I don't want to mess it up--it's too important. I took the shirts to my quilting teacher to have guidance (a pep talk) to be sure I was proceeding correctly. I was doing fine. I would fold them, arrange them, take pictures of them. But no matter how long I put it off, I knew I'd have to cut into them, sooner or later. When I cut the first of Jonathan's shirts, I cried. Not because I was afraid of the job ahead; actually, I feel quite confident of how it will turn out. I cried because I miss him, too. Just like I miss Annie. I have met him through his shirts and I miss him.

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  Jonathan's quilt...another true labor of love. 

For Donna, Jonathan, and Annie,

Anything for You

     So now that I've made perhaps half a dozen quilts, I take on any job. When my daughter asked if I could make four quilts for gifts at a business luncheon, I said, "Sure!"  I wondered why everyone I mentioned it to looked at me like I was nuts.  I found a fun pattern online called "Circular Logic."  Each quilt has 36 circles that are reverse-appliqued; when I cut out inside the stitched circle, the color beneath shows through.

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(The doggie in the corner is actually part of a t-shirt from the organization that I incorporated into the quilt.)

Halla took a minute before school to be one of my favorite models!!!

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All four of them were finished minutes before the luncheon started!  Anything for my girls...








A New Healing... or Addiction

     Who knows how long it will last, but two months ago, I became addicted to...quilting. I've managed to sew a few things in my life that I'm proud of:  a little pinafore dress for my sister when she was a toddler; my wedding dress (from a Vintage Vogue pattern in 1978--the girls said it looked like a "country" dress!); my daughter's prom dress (my neighbor had to rescue it--the slit in the lining didn't match up with the slit on the front of the dress); and baby clothes, a housecoat for my first grandson.
     As I learn about living in a emptier nest, I've returned to some of those activities that fell to the back of the line when all the girls were home.  Writing, sewing, daydreaming...  Once the girls started moving out for school, getting married, making their own way, it was hard to turn my focus away from mothering them and back toward the life that began with just Peter and me.  Then to have Annie gone for good, beyond reach other than through my prayers and dreams, the challange seemed more than I could handle.
     I'm not sure why I decided to take a quilt class (offered at Northwest Sewing Center) out of the blue.  But in one month, Terry helped me create my first quilt; it ended up being a birthday present for our second daughter, Asha.  Little sister, Halla, helped model it, although not quite as I intended:

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Even Holden likes it!  DSC_0221

     Once you start, you can't stop.  I decided to try and make a lap quilt for a friend who wasn't feeling well. I used two different patterns I found online:

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     I've spent hours online searching through modern quilt sites, signing up for newsletters and free patterns, subscribing to magazines...a quilt junkie.  When I'm working on these projects, I feel a reprieve from fatigue and sadness.  A friend told me that Annie was trying to help me feel better, too.  It must be true; not long ago I had a dream that a bird was on my back porch, and it was made of many different colors--like a quilt.